Policy Summary and Scope
At Steelcase, we seek to unlock the human promise of all individuals, respecting human dignity, and human and labor rights. Our culture is guided by, and decisions are made in accordance with, the combination of our company vision of unlocking human promise and our closely held, long-standing and enduring core values –
- Act with integrity
- Tell the truth
- Keep commitments
- Treat people with dignity and respect
- Promote positive relationships
- Protect the environment
Our approach to respecting human dignity and advancing human and labor rights across the globe incorporates international laws, principles, conventions, and norms, as well as internal Steelcase principles and policies, including –
- the International Bill of Human Rights
- the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (ILO)
- the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
- the UN Global Compact, to which we are a signatory
- the IFC/EBRD Guidance Note on Workers’ Accommodation: Processes and Standards
- good governance principles
- the Rule of Law
- our company vision
- our core values
- our Global Harassment Prevention Policy
- our Global Business Standards
- our Supplier Code of Conduct, and
- this Global Human and Labor Rights Policy
This Global Human and Labor Rights Policy describes Steelcase’s commitment to respect and promote global human and labor rights in accordance with the laws, principles, conventions, norms and internal principles and policies enumerated above and is applicable to all employees, worldwide. It’s also applicable, to the extent appropriate, to our business partners, suppliers, dealers, and vendors.
Our Commitment to Remediation
Remediation is an integral part of our responsibility to respect human and labor rights, and we are committed to providing effective grievance mechanisms and access to remedy in situations where we may have inadvertently caused or contributed to, or be perceived to have caused or contributed to, adverse human or labor rights impacts. Additionally, we expect all Steelcase employees to report perceived or actual violations of this Policy or adverse human or labor rights impacts, or raise ethical concerns, without delay through any of the Company’s engagement opportunities, including –
- the Steelcase Integrity Line at integrity.steelcase.com
- our Open-Door Policy
- employee round tables
- one-on-one meetings
- access to leadership
- access to human resources, legal and internal audit professionals,
- impact coaching sessions, and
- employee surveys
Regardless of the grievance mechanism employed, Steelcase policy protects employees from being threatened or punished in any way for reporting suspected violations of our policies or adverse human or labor rights impacts. Additionally, the Steelcase Integrity Line is confidential, available to individuals and organizations both outside the company and internally, and available in multiple languages. Anonymity is also possible, as desired.
Cultural or Legal/Regulatory Conflicts
Because cultural norms around the world differ, there may be cultural reticence on behalf of some employees to find their voice, raise up concerns and exercise their right to engage through one of the mechanisms provided above. Accordingly, we provide significant training and communication to encourage all employees to raise up concerns and exercise their right to engage without fear of reprisal, intimidation, harassment, or retaliation and, in confidence.
There may be situations in which national or local legal/regulatory requirements establish different standards of conduct than those outlined by these policies. It is also possible that future local legal requirements may conflict with these policies, practices, and engagement opportunities. In such cases, we expect all employees, as well as business partners, suppliers, dealers, and vendors, as appropriate, to seek to apply the standards contained in our policies without violating national or local laws. At the same time, while we respect national or local law, we view those laws as floors and where international human rights standards exceed national or local law, we seek to align our business practices and operations with international standards.
Members of our executive team and our board of directors (through the board committee having oversight over the Company’s ESG initiative) have been involved in the development of this policy and are responsible for its implementation, including those instances when the policy’s standards may have been violated. Violations may result in disciplinary action or the discontinuation of a business relationship. Various Steelcase personnel, including management, leaders, and personnel in human resources, legal, environmental sustainability, health and safety, and procurement are responsible for maintaining our human rights and labor programs. This policy is publicized and forms an integral part of our onboarding experience.
At Steelcase, people are the heart of everything we do. Our Company vision to unlock human promise for all, plus our commitment to exemplify our core values in our daily interactions with all, shore up our responsibility to conduct our business in a manner that reflects the rights and dignity of all people in accordance with international laws, principles, conventions, norms, and internal principles, and policies mentioned above. All human beings, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, nationality or social origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, language, age, disability, medical condition, health status, physical appearance, pregnancy, marital or familial status, alienage or citizenship status, religion/creed, political or other affiliation, genetic information, military or veteran status, place of residence, economic or social situation, victim status, or other characteristic are entitled to the respect and protection of internationally recognized human rights. These include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom from abuse, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to earn a living, the right to education, the right to clean water access and many more.
Among our responsibilities to conduct our business in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of all people is an accountability to conduct due diligence to identify the human rights impacts of our operations, consulting with those that may be impacted, and taking steps to mitigate and remediate adverse impact. Leaders and management lead through empathy, listening first, and encouraging employees to raise up their voice without fear.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At Steelcase, diversity is much more than gender, race, or other protected class, status or characteristic; it is the intentional desire for a mix of people with different traits, experiences and opinions that are both inherent and acquired. It is the intentional desire for diversity of thought. It is an extension of our core values – including treating people with dignity and respect throughout their careers. We embrace diversity, ensure equitable access to opportunity, and foster a culture of inclusion where our employees can be authentic and thrive throughout their journey with the Company. We extend this commitment to our business partners, suppliers, dealers, vendors, and community neighbors.
Fair Treatment and Non-Discrimination
Steelcase is committed to protecting the rights of all employees, including women and underrepresented groups, by providing equal employment opportunities, ensuring our company’s employment practices are free of discrimination and giving all employees a work environment that is free from intimidation, threats, hostility, inhumane treatment, violence, and harassment. Steelcase does not engage in discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, nationality or social origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, language, age, disability, medical condition, health status, physical appearance, pregnancy, marital or familial status, alienage or citizenship status, religion/creed, political or other affiliation, genetic information, military or veteran status, place of residence, economic or social situation, victim status or other characteristic.
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Central to Steelcase’s culture is an environment based on open, two-way communication between employees, leaders, and management, where employees find their voice and leaders and management listen and practice empathy. Steelcase employees communicate openly with leaders and management regarding working conditions, policies, practices, company strategy and other issues without fear of reprisal, intimidation, harassment, or retaliation. This culture is reinforced by intentional policies, practices, and processes, including the Steelcase Integrity Line, the Open-Door Policy, employee round tables, one-on-one meetings, unfettered access to leadership, human resources, legal and internal audit professionals, impact coaching sessions, employee surveys, training and learning opportunities, as well as intentional, inclusive space design facilitating leader and management accessibility, collaboration, privacy, concentration and opportunity for respite.
One example of such employee engagement is our various employee-generated and employee-organized, open, and inclusive Affinity Groups, where employees come together to share their thoughts and ideas, and at times raise up the dialog while educating others in the company, including leaders and management. Affinity Groups are open to, and inclusive of, all who wish to participate. Participation is voluntary.
Another example of employee engagement, free association and collective bargaining is the existence of various unionized locations and employee groups represented by works councils in various regions of the Company throughout the world. Where such free association or collective bargaining is prohibited by law, Steelcase’s open, two-way communication culture described above provides employees opportunities to find their voice, raising up ideas or concerns to leaders and management, who listen empathically.
Steelcase is dedicated to ensuring that our operations and those of our business partners respect the human rights of people in the communities impacted by such products, services, and operations. We engage local stakeholders in our communities who are committed to furthering human and labor rights, marrying our financial support with employee volunteerism through social innovation projects. Through these engagements, we seek to amplify the impact local stakeholders have in reducing inequalities, furthering quality education and creating sustainable cities and communities.
Additionally, we ensure that our community neighbors’ human rights, including their livelihoods, health and wellbeing, security, access to clean water and sustained biodiversity, are not negatively impacted by our products, services, and operations or those of our business partners. We seek to identify negative impacts and take steps to avoid, minimize, and/or mitigate such impacts.
Steelcase seeks to ensure that its workers and those of its business partners are employed in conditions that are voluntary, safe, fairly compensated and protective of human dignity without discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, nationality or social origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, language, age, disability, medical condition, health status, physical appearance, pregnancy, marital or familial status, alienage or citizenship status, religion/creed, political or other affiliation, genetic information, military or veteran status, place of residence, economic or social situation, victim status or other characteristic.
Steelcase does not participate in human trafficking or use slave labor in any part of its organization or supply chain. All labor is voluntary, and workers are free to leave work or terminate their employment, as desired. We prohibit workers from being forced to pay for their jobs or to become indebted to third parties as a result of the process of securing employment. Should any such violations of workers’ rights occur, Steelcase will seek to mitigate the negative impacts on workers.
Steelcase does not use child labor in any part of its organization or supply chain. We support the use of legitimate apprenticeship programs that comply with local laws, regulations, and norms.
Working hours for individual Steelcase employees will not exceed the maximum set by local law. Further, a workweek will not routinely be more than 60 hours per week, including overtime, except in emergency or unusual situations if allowed by local law. Employees are regularly allowed at least one day off per seven-day week.
Wages, Benefits and Profit-Sharing
Steelcase pays all employees competitive wages and benefits. We provide at least the minimum living wage required by applicable laws and regulations and all legally mandated benefits. In addition to their compensation for regular hours of work, employees are compensated for overtime hours at no less than the rate required by applicable laws and regulations. Steelcase does not deduct amounts from wages as a disciplinary measure. The documented basis on which workers are being paid is provided in a timely manner via pay stub or similar notification. Steelcase is a profit-sharing company. We share profits with our employees annually through our broad-based employee bonus plan in which the vast majority of our employees participate.
Steelcase recognizes that relocation can be an anxious experience for employees and their families, and to support employees through the process we have partnered with top-rated services providers. This support network is provided to help reduce normal move disruptions and enable employees to settle into their new home and role as quickly as possible.
Career Management, Training and Learning
Steelcase believes in life-long learning and promotes a learning and teaching mindset and culture among all employees. We encourage self-awareness, the deliberate practice of new skills, goal setting, participation in feedback loops, self-reflection, and experimentation. To establish new behaviors and beliefs, we empower leaders as catalysts of deliberate learning, creating trusted spaces for employees to learn through dialogue, problem solving and goal setting.
Throughout employees’ careers, we craft experiences that foster learning in the flow of work. Employees learn role-relevant information through tools and frameworks, immediately applying their learnings to relevant business situations. They receive timely feedback and refine their understanding through self-reflection. Through a combination of technical and human skills, knowledge and experiences, employees are prepared to accomplish immediate, intermediate, and long-term business goals.
In furtherance of our belief that “everyone learns; everyone teaches”, we are a community of learners and teachers. While topical communities of practice exist for learners to access, learners are also encouraged to curate content and share their experiences, thereby enhancing our established knowledge base for learning and growing.
Workplace Health and Safety
The safety of our employees is paramount. The safety of our business partners, subcontractors, vendors, dealers, customers and visitors to our facilities (“Visitors”) is vital. Steelcase adheres to all national and local laws and regulations regarding the creation and maintenance of safe working conditions and a healthy work environment. We apply the leading ISO standards to each workplace, as applicable. We integrate health and safety management practices into all aspects of our operations, eliminating or minimizing chemical, biological, and physical hazards from the workplace and providing employees and Visitors, as applicable, with appropriate personal protective equipment. Where such hazards cannot be eliminated, Steelcase uses appropriate measures to mitigate the risks.
Employees will not be disciplined, and Visitors will not face repercussions, for raising safety concerns. Employees may refuse unsafe working conditions without fear of reprisal, intimidation, harassment, or retaliation and Visitors may refuse unsafe visiting conditions without fear of negative consequences.
Physically Demanding Work
Steelcase identifies, evaluates, and uses best practices to minimize employee exposure to physical hazards including manual material handling, heavy or repetitive lifting, prolonged standing and highly repetitive or forceful assembly tasks.
Occupational Safety Procedures and Systems
Steelcase has procedures and systems to manage, track and report occupational injury and illness. We encourage employees and Visitors, as applicable, to report any occupational injury or illness. Steelcase classifies and records all work-related injury and illness cases, investigates those cases, and implements corrective actions to eliminate their causes. Steelcase provides medical treatment or ensures employees’ access to public and/or additional health coverage and facilitates the employees’ return to work.
Health and Safety Communication
Steelcase provides employees and Visitors with appropriate workplace health and safety information, warnings and training in both the languages required by applicable laws and regulations, as well as local languages understood by employees but not required by local law. Steelcase makes available to employees Safety Data Sheets for hazardous or toxic substances used in our facilities and properly educates employees who may encounter such substances in the workplace.
Steelcase identifies and assesses potential emergency situations and events and has implemented emergency plans and response procedures, including emergency reporting, employee notification and evacuation procedures, worker training and drills, appropriate fire detection and suppression equipment, adequate exit and evacuation means in all facilities and emergency recovery plans.
Sanitation, Food and Housing
Steelcase provides access to clean toilet facilities, potable water and, where applicable, sanitary food preparation and eating facilities. In locations where Steelcase provides dormitories for employees, the dormitories are clean and safe and provide appropriate emergency egress, hot water for bathing or showering, adequate heat and ventilation, reasonable personal space and entry and exit privileges.
- the Steelcase Global Harassment Prevention Policy
- the Steelcase Global Business Standards
- the Steelcase Supplier Code of Conduct
- the Steelcase Open-Door Policy
Revised: March 2021